what is the difference between yesterday and the day before - in English they are the same - is it different in French?

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peter

Kwiziq community member

30 July 2018

4 replies

what is the difference between yesterday and the day before - in English they are the same - is it different in French?

This question relates to:
French lesson "When to use "demain"/"hier" vs "le lendemain"/"la veille" vs "le jour suivant"/"le jour précédent""

Chris

Kwiziq community member

31 July 2018

31/07/18

They are actually not the same in English. 

The day before she arrived I cleaned my room. 

Yesterday I cleaned my room. 

It's the same in French. 

-- Chris. 

peter

Kwiziq community member

31 July 2018

31/07/18

I am sorry my good man but yesterday is the day before 

Yesterday, before she arrived I cleaned my room

The day before, I cleaned my room

both sentences although expressed diffently say the exact same thing which is getting to the question of hier vs la veille. Is there a difference?

Chris

Kwiziq community member

31 July 2018

31/07/18

Chris is correct.  "Yesterday" is linked to the present, but "the day before" is not.  Indeed it can be in the past (last Saturday I went Kitesurfing, but the day before I went wakeboarding) or in the future (next Saturday I will go kitesurfing, but the day before I will go wakeboarding).  

Chris

Kwiziq community member

31 July 2018

31/07/18

The "day before" refers to a specific point in time from which to take the previous day.

"Yesterday" is the day before today. Not an event which may be in the past or the future but the present, today.

-- Chris.

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